This is for the Brave

image: Saint-Exupéry, Top of the Mountain


This is for the Brave

I do not write for the cynics.
Cockbrained Jedi-masters of insecurity;
desert sheiks digging deep the wells of mediocre.
You who wield laughter like war,
who scoff and scorn and would see the world
shriveled and small,
gasping in your talon hand,
its every inhabitant, groveling for your harsh and miserly approval.
You who would wither the universe
to a dried prune.
(you can have it)
Put down this page.
It is not for you.

I do not write for those with power and money,
or with a taste in the back of their souls for either.
You who know nothing of poverty-
either of pocket or spirit-
or how the world narrows to the
of a groaning belly,
a tomorrow empty of options,
nothing at the bottom of the bucket but disease.
You, wasted with venomous want,
crawling, unsatisfied need for
every needless thing.
Fighting and clawing and forging your plastic empires.
Put down this page.
You have been found wanting.

I do not write for the duped.
Sheep-headed, glassy-eyed
You who beg to be swayed,
to be lulled,
who choose blindness, daily,
blithely tying on blindfolds
of the latest fashion.
Put down this page.
You have nothing to offer.

I do not write for false lovers.
You who pander romance in heartshaped diamond necklaces
and a house in the nice part of town
where you take pride in a lawn you don’t mow
and children you don’t raise.
Keeping your secrets and playing at magazine-cover attraction strategy,
(sexlust bedmines)
as though the chief end of man were to get what you want.
Slinging violent silence, and words whose only purpose is to
effect precisely driven pain.
(just enough to trip your opponent on the way to the basket,
But never enough to put you at risk of fouling out)
You do not know love.
You bat the idea around
like a shuttlecock,
for your own amusement.
Put down this page.
You are unfit.

I do not write for the cowards.
You who hold to obstacles like life preservers,
pretending disappointment, in rueful headshakes,
at all the reasons why not.
You who chose not to remember that you were put here
to DO,
and not to speak of doing.
Not to lament not-doing.
You who have resigned yourself to the acceptance
of the vindicating realities
of all the things that cannot be done.
You have failed the test.
Put down this page.

I do not write for the insincere, full of agenda and hollow as death,
for the happy stagnant comfortable, ungrowing,
or for the small; you whose vision ends just under your own skin.
Put down this page.
Surely, you have other people’s time to waste.

But you.
(Oh you of trembling heart.
You of unsure hands,
of voices that can never find words
of words that want to climb.
You of shuffling feet
and hidden faces.
You of dancing dreams,
of singing hopes kept locked in drawers,
of flaming bones.)
This is for you.

This is for Richard Feynman and Virginia Woolf.
For Van Gogh and Marie Curie and Albert Einstein.
This is for Tesla and George Eliot and Franz Kafka and Eleanor Roosevelt.
This is for my kinswoman working for the future of Africa.
For Aung San Suu Kyi, and Frida Kahlo,
and Dorothea Lange.

This is for the person I am not.
But may someday become.

This is for those willing to shed their snakeskin fear
leaving it behind in transparent uselessness.
For those who will strive with intention,
stumbling highwire highways,
walking in the way of miracles.

This is for the next step.
The broader view.
For the right choice that nobody believes in.

So, then.
If you are brave,
and are willing to drop the narrow, distortion telescope,
and see,
and to hold everything most dear and precious to you
with an open hand.
If your heart is strong to bend…

Then let us leave this beach of shadows,
and empty suppositions,
and venture deep
into Platonic caves,
where we will see
what it is, dances endlessly before the fire;
what dreams look like, wrapped in flesh and stone,
the constellation skeleton frames of Truth, uncovered,
and ourselves, reflected
in each other’s faces.

And we will do it all
without their money,
their chemicals;
and without their plastic-molded,
ill-fitting brand
of redemption.

Moses-like, our mountain-top, cave-dark countenance-shine
will blind the tribes below,
(chest beating )
before gods of their own fashioning.

Take my hand,
you pilgrim saints;
you tried, unperfect
vagabonds of Truth.

That which is real must rise.
And all that is false must fail.
By my hand, or by the hand of another.
Be it ever so.


6 responses to “This is for the Brave

  1. I wish there was a love button, I’d press it until there were bruises on my fingers. This poem is wonderful, amazing and so full of treats, treasures and sour candies. I love it. (Did I mention that I really enjoyed this poem?)…!!!

  2. An absolutely stunning poem. So much depth and passion. Thank you.

  3. This is an absolutely fantastic treastise to read, savor, and drink in. Absolutely stunning. Well done! I love all the heroes whose name you list……..what a glorious read this was. Thank you.

  4. OMG … wow, I love your writing!

  5. You have packed so much truth, and caution and challenge into these lines. I have read them afresh, and am reinvigorated by the vision of the pilgrim saints; the tried, unperfect vagabonds of Truth. I wish they would take my hand.

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